Available by prescription only, Cayston is used for the treatment of a certain bacterial infection in people who have cystic fibrosis. It is specifically used when the bacteria causing the infection is Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Cayston is approved for adults and children as young as seven years old. This antibiotic works by preventing the bacteria from growing and multiplying.
Cayston® (aztreonam for inhalation solution) is a prescription antibiotic used to treat people with cystic fibrosis who have a lung infection with a type of bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa). This medicine helps to improve breathing symptoms caused by the infection, such as coughing, wheezing, and mucus production.
Cayston is an inhaled antibiotic that belongs to a class of antibiotics known as monobactams. It is used with a nebulizer, which is a device that turns a liquid medicine into a fine mist for inhaling through the mouth into the lungs.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic (inherited) condition that affects the lungs, digestive tract, and other areas of the body. People with cystic fibrosis have a defective gene that causes the body to produce abnormally thick and sticky mucus (see Causes of Cystic Fibrosis).
Mucus is a substance made by the mucous membranes. It lines and protects many of the body's inner surfaces, such as the lungs, sinuses, digestive tract, and reproductive system, providing lubrication and preventing infection. For people without cystic fibrosis, mucus is thin and watery.
However, the abnormally thick, sticky mucus associated with cystic fibrosis builds up in the lungs, pancreas, and other areas of the body, clogging small passages. This can lead to serious complications. For example, when the tubes of the pancreas are blocked, digestive enzymes the pancreas produces cannot reach the small intestines, where they are needed to help break down food. As a result, the body cannot properly absorb nutrients, which can lead to malnutrition and poor growth.
When mucus builds up in the lungs, it causes breathing problems. In addition, the thick mucus traps bacteria, leading to frequent lung infections. Over time, mucus buildup and repeated infections cause permanent lung damage and a decrease in lung function.
(Click Cystic Fibrosis Symptoms for more information about signs of this condition.)
Cystic fibrosis cannot be cured. However, treatments are used to ease symptoms and lower the risk for long-term complications. The goals of treatment include loosening and removing mucus from the lungs, providing adequate nutrition, and preventing and controlling lung infections (see Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis).
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a type of bacteria that frequently causes lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis. Cayston is effective against this bacterium. By reducing the amount of bacteria in the lungs, the drug helps improve respiratory symptoms caused by the infection and improves lung function. These effects can help improve breathing.
Cayston will not work to treat infections caused by viruses, such as the common cold. Using Cayston to treat infections other than those caused by P. aeruginosa could lead to the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
This medication has not been studied in people with a forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) of less than 25 percent or greater than 75 percent predicted (FEV1 is a measure of lung function). It has also not been studied in people who are colonized with a bacterium called Burkholderia cepacia. Therefore, it is not known whether the drug is safe and effective for such people.